Children's toys such as dolls, action figures, and bikes are organized in rows in front of a banner that reads "Toys for Tots" positioned in between an American flag and a flag for the State of Florida.

“I know these people, and I can tell you they gave with their hearts.”

Surrounded by over 100 colleagues, Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn presented members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with bins of donated new toys, including over 10 new bikes and helmets.  The toys were collected by employees deployed in support of Hurricane Irma at the Joint Field Office in Orlando and branch offices throughout the state of Florida.

“Our people work under difficult conditions; they are away from home and loved ones during the holiday season,” said Nunn. “Through that, they remain true to the mission of FEMA by assisting survivors. This voluntary effort shows their commitment and passion.”

While reasons for contributing varied, one common theme emerged: the hope of brightening a child’s holiday.  As noted by a FEMA reservist, deployed for over 60 days, “Doing this lifted my spirits; it means as much to me as I hope it will to the child receiving the gift.”

The mission of the program, run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children.

All donated toys will be distributed to children residing within the local communities, many of whom are survivors of the hurricane.